From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Justice George Omereji of the Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, Thursday, sentenced three persons to death for the murder of an ex-militant, Soboma George, and a groundnut seller, Miss Joy John-Ejims, about ten years ago.
The convicts, Dougbra Ogbe, Emmanuel Gladstone, Bere Matthew, on arrest in 2010, confessed to the police that they killed the ex-militant in self-defence after they refused to carryout a deadly instruction.
The three suspects were convicted on three counts bordering on conspiracy and murder of the victims habe been condemned to die by hanging.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Omereji directed that the convicts be tied on their neck till they are confirmed dead.
He held that the prosecution was able to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt, especially with the evidence of an eyewitness, Emmanuel Eniete, who sustained gun shot injuries during the attack that led to the death of George and the girl.
The trial judge stated that evidence and testimonies of the witnesses had proved that the defendants actually committed the crime as charged.
He declared that among other confessional statements by the defendants, the statement that they killed George because he wanted to kill them after they refused kill the former governor of Rivers State, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and then Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, further indicted them.
Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel, Ipalibo Karibo-Botoye, has expressed joy that after ten years prosecution, justice had come to stay.
He commended the court for giving George and John-Ejims justice, noting that he was ready to defend his case further at appeal court.
Karibo-Botoye, “We are happy that ten years after the murder of George justice has come to stay. It is a thing of joy that the court saw that we proved our case”.